SLA cancels Deja vu’s license to sell alcohol

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After a drawn out battle the establishment once known as Déjà vu no longer has a liquor license.

On Friday, November 6 Senator Jeff Klein held a press conference in front of the notorious nightspot, recently advertised as Insomnia Lounge, with community members and representatives of the State Liquor Authority.

“I guarantee this is the last time we will be standing here, this community will not have déjà vu again,” said Klein. “This has been a long fight, but one that sends a strong message to the people who thumb their noses at our community, that this will not be tolerated.”

For months the community, with the support of Klein, Community Board 11 and the 49th Precinct, has been fighting against the numerous disturbances caused by Déjà vu.

“They were caught for underage drinking and had shootings outside the establishment. They clearly violated our sense of community,” said Klein. “This neighborhood is important to me, its where I was born and continue to live.”

Klein, weeks earlier, had announced the cancelation of the liquor license, slated to go into effect Friday, October 9, but club owner Rob Karagi surprised everyone by filing for a temporary restraining order against the State Liquor Authority decision.

On Friday, October 16 a judge lifted the order, and Déjà vu representatives took the case to the Appellate Court. Once again the judge ruled in favor of the SLA.

“We tried to be good neighbors. They promised us a family restaurant,” said Al D’Angelo, president of the Morris Park Community Association. “This sends the message we are not to be trifled with. Our quality of life is very important to us.”

During the press conference Klein announced a deal made between Déjà vu management and the SLA. Déjà vu management agreed to drop the case if the SLA rescinded a $1,000 bond claim imposed on the establishment.

“We have dedicated ourselves to working with the community and together with Senator Klein we were able to remove the liquor license, which is what the community wanted,” said Michael Jones, SLA Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

If the case were not withdrawn within 5 days of the agreement, the SLA had the authority to revoke Déjà vu’s liquor license and reinstate the $1,000 bond claim.

“We need to thank Senator Klein and the SLA for getting rid of this cancer in our community,” said Joe Bombace, CB11 member and local resident. “For four years we have suffered and now it’s finally over.”

Updated 5:26 pm, October 21, 2011
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